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Labor History: Books & Pamphlets

A guide to U.S. labor history resources in NYU's Tamiment Library and beyond.

Search BobCat

Search for books, journals, videos, etc. in our local libraries and special collections.

NYU Libraries' online catalog.

Subject Headings

Browse an alphabetical list of Library of Congress Subject Headings in BobCat Standard to find books on your topic. 

Following are some of the subject headings under which materials about labor are indexed in BobCat and other library catalogs.

African American
        labor union members

Agricultural laborers
Alien labor
Child labor
Clothing workers

Factory system
Labor movement
Labor supply
Labor union members
Labor unions
Labor unions -- organizing
Strikes and lockouts
Textile workers
Transport workers
Women household

Women labor union

Working class

As you browse the subject headings, you will see that main headings are subdivided. The following list shows some of the subdivisions that may be added to subject searches for more specific results.

In art
In literature

New York [or United States or other geographic area]
Pictorial works

Some examples:

Child labor -- United States -- History
Clothing workers -- Labor unions -- United States
Labor unions -- United States -- History
Labor movement -- United States -- History -- Bibliography

Browse Subject Headings in BobCat Standard

Browse subject headings using BobCat Standard.

Overview of the Tamiment Library's Book Collection

The library's collection contains more than 75,000 books and tens of thousands of pamphlets related to the history of the Left and the history of work and working people.

To find books and other items in Tamiment's collections, search BobCat, NYU's library catalog, by author, title, subject, or keyword using the box to the left.  

A new window will open, taking your search to the catalog.  On the left side of that page, you’ll see a list of links with “Limit My Results” at the top.  Click on “NYU Bobst Tamiment/Wagner” under “Library” to get results from the Tamiment only.

Selected Books on Labor History

Following are selected books on the history of labor in the United States.

David Brody.  Workers in Industrial America:  Essays on the 20th Century Struggle, 2nd ed. (New York:  Oxford University Press, 1993)

Thomas R. Brooks.  Toil and Trouble:  A History of American Labor, 2nd. ed.  (New York:  Dell, 1971)

Philip Dray.  There is Power in a Union:  The Epic Story of Labor in America.  (New York:  Doubleday, 2010)

Melvyn Dubofsky and Foster Rhea Dulles.  Labor in America:  A History, 8th ed(Wheeling, IL:  Harlan Davidson, 2010)

Ronald L. Filippelli.  Labor in the USA:  A History.  (New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1984)

Philip Foner. History of the Labor Movement in the United States (NY: International Publishers, 1947-)

Joshua Freeman.  Working Class New York:  Life and Labor Since World War II (New York: New Press, 2000)

Walter Galenson.  The American Labor Movement, 1955-1995 (Westport, CT:  Greenwood Press, 1996)

Alice Kessler Harris.  Gendering Labor History (Urbana : University of Illinois Pres, 2007)

Jacqueline Jones.  A Social History of the Laboring Classes From Colonial Times to the Present (Malden, MA:  Blackwell Publishers, 1999)

Nelson Lichtenstein.  State of the Union:  A Century of American Labor (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press; c2002)

Clayton Sinyai.  Schools of Democracy:  A Political History of the American Labor Movement (Ithaca:  Cornell Univ. Press, 2006)

Sharon Smith.  Subterranean Fire:  A History of Working-Class Radicalism in the United States (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2006)

Robert H. Zieger.  American Workers, American Unions (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995)

Pamphlet Collections

Tamiment's holdings include tens of thousands of pamphlets in print and on microform. They are arranged in either distinct thematic collections or in the general pamphlet collection. The majority of the pamphlets are not cataloged individually.

See our Pamphlets Research Guide for help finding pamphlets.

Using Books in Tamiment

Once you have identified the books and pamphlets you would like to use in BobCat, fill out one call slip for each title and turn them in at Tamiment's reference desk. 

The collections are shelved in closed stacks, so we will page the items you request and bring them out to you in the reading room. 

The Tamiment Library's collections, including our books, do not circulate.  They must be used in the library during our regular hours.

Books from the Collection

Search BobCat

Search for books, journals, videos, etc. in our local libraries and special collections.

NYU Libraries' online catalog.